On The Road To Israel – A Mike Shinoda Interview

Not every day you get to meet your biggest idol and #LifeGoals inspiration, especially after 18 years of admiring them for afar, but for this lucky girl, that dream came true this week in Berlin, Germany, in a private interview right before the show.

The idol is none other than Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, the band that shaped my entire life and helped me find the bridge between my love of Rock and Hip-Hop music.

Mike pulled a rabbit out of his hat and surprised the fans in Israel with 2 shows at the end of the "Post-Traumatic" tour with our very own local drum god, Dan Mayo.

To commemorate this extremely rare and exciting occasion, I was sent to interview Mike a couple of weeks ahead of his arrival in Israel and couldn't stop thanking my lucky stars for making this dream a reality.

After catching my breath and cracking some jokes with Dan in Hebrew I was able to get down to business and use my very limited time to talk about the anticipated visit to the holy land, but not before I told him all about my favorite song (Lift Off with the brilliant Machine Gun Kelly and Chino Moreno) and thanking him for his life's work.

Is there anything you look forward to in your upcoming visit to Israel?

Mike: The Food! Unfortunately, we do not have much time for sightseeing so for me personally, I’m looking forward to the food!

I can get you some hummus takeaway….

Mike: I have a funny story about that. We were in Germany a couple of years ago and went to this Turkish restaurant.  As you know, Americans, we pronounce chumus “Homas.” When I ordered it, the waiter said “Homas? We don’t have." I thought that was really weird, so I was like, "are you sure?"  I showed him the mane and he was like “ohhh, Chumus!” Now…the weird thing was, after a few days we went to a different restaurant, and ordered Homas again…and he said “Homas?”  I thought for a second, and said, “Chumus?” And he says, “OH! Chumus!"

What was your favorite place to visit when you were in Israel?

Mike: Although we didn’t have a lot of time to travel, we did get the chance to visit Jerusalem.  It was very cool because people from the tourism department personally showed us around. That was pretty unusual.  We travel a lot and we never get greeted by something as official as the tourism department. We got a very extensive tour, well organized and everyone was very knowledgeable about the area, so it was pretty special for us.

As you probably know, there is some protest against having the shows in Israel (BDS, etc.) were you ever concerned about that? Or thought about canceling the shows?

Mike: My purpose in Israel is music, not politics.  My drummer Dan Mayo is Israeli, and I’m very excited to visit Tel Aviv with him, to see his home town and meet his family.  And there are lots of fans who have been wonderfully supportive of the band for many years, who are looking forward to the show.

Is there anything specific that struck a chord with you from your visit or the show in Israel?

Mike: Wow, it was a long time ago but I do remember that this trip specifically was very important to Brad. Being Jewish, he has a deep connection with the country and really wanted to make sure we had a great time.  It was so funny, he kept asking us if we are having fun, and what do we think about the food, and did we see anything interesting…he really wanted it to be great. Which it was.

 Since the shows in Tel Aviv are the very last in the “Post Traumatic” tour can we expect anything special to celebrate the end of the PT era?

Mike: Well, first of all, you are getting to keep Dan. He is staying in Israel forever!

The first show is actually on Meteora’s 16 year birthday, can we expect anything special on the show or see any differences between the first and the second show?

Mike: Most of my shows are different from one another.  This show is more about the end of the album cycle than about the Meteora album.  Post Traumatic has been an important chapter in my musical journey, and I’m excited to end the tour in Tel Aviv.

Thank you for your time, we can't wait to see you in Israel.

Main Photo Credit: Chady Awad

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